Monday, May 26, 2008

Dawn's Light by Terri Blackstock

I love Terri Blackstock's books, but when I started the first book in her Restoration series (Last Light) I was a bit worried. The premise seemed a bit bizarre... almost a tad science-fictiony and I am not a sci-fi girl. But I was quickly hooked and was sad to see the series come to an end with this 4th and final installment.

If I could, I would have everyone read these books. They are certainly entertaining, but more than anything they make you sit back, look at your life and consider... consider how you would make it without all the "conveniences" we consider necessities like electricity, running water, gas, cars, a/c, heat, access to our money through banks, public transit, phone service, television, internet... and so much more.

In the Restoration series all of those things are stripped away. If it in anyway is effected by electricity it no longer works... and I must add that the reason for the crisis is plausible. I appreciate that Blackstock thought this through carefully and didn't just toss out some odd tragedy to cause all this chaos.

In this series, Blackstock shows us a world where we are stripped bare before all... and more importantly before God. All the distractions of this world come to a halt and while there is chaos at the beginning, it gives way to a simpler lifestyle that focuses more on survival than on amassing stuff and status... and many of the characters turn to God. Some knew Him and were faithful before this began... others knew Him but were busy with life... others didn't have a clue.

In Dawn's Light the crisis is coming to an end... but other things are beginning. The beginning of rebirth and renewal.. the beginning of a life together.. the beginning of a new creation in Christ... as with many books there is no way to really talk about what happens in this book without giving thing away.. and I cannot do that. All I can do is say PLEASE read this series.. it is so very worth it!

There are 4 books... and they must be read in order ... Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn's Light.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Soul To Keep by Davis Bunn

The first thing I noticed with this book is T. Davis Bunn is now Davis Bunn. I wonder what happened to the T? I kind of liked it there at the beginning of his name.

I have read a few books by Bunn. The Book of Hours was interesting and I loved The Great Divide and Winner Take All, but my favorite book by this author is one totally out of character for him. It is a sweet Christmas time novella called Tidings of Comfort and Joy.

Bunn has also written 2 historic series - one with Janette Oke and the other with his wife, Isabella. I have not ventured into those.

My Soul to Keep is a somewhat serious novel with some rather deep and a bit dark undertones.... and yet, it isn't a depressing book to read at all. Bunn dives into an arena I have yet seen explored on the pages of Christian literature.... the movie industry. He starts with a rather ragamuffin cast... a broken movie star who spent time in prison after a horrific car accident caused by his addictions... the starlet who was with him and is now scarred for life in more than physical ways... add in a powerful banker... a former pastor who's gambling habit led him to embezzlement.. a good ole southern boy who knows nothing about making a film, but trusts His God with a faith we all should aspire too... a greedy Hollywood mogul... his killer take all assistant.... and more!

One thing I love about this book it that while there is one main storyline, there is a myriad of underlying currents and stories playing out on these pages. I also found that the faith shown in these characters challenged me to look at my own faith. In one scene something devastating has happened... something anyone in their right mind would say is the end... and yet one of the characters chooses instead to praise God for 2 reasons... one he sees it as a sign that they are doing something right and so the enemy is angry and two he sees it as an opportunity to watch God be the amazing miracle working God He is. I love that 2nd part especially. How often do I face a giant and think.. Oh well, all is lost.. when instead I should say "Thank You, Father, for letting this happen in my life so I can watch You work!"

This is not light casual fare... there is depth to this book and it will cause you to stop and think. To me, that is good. At the same time it is an interesting entertaining plot that keeps your attention with twists and turns and well developed characters. Definitely a book to read!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Daughter's Inheritance by Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller

Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller have teamed up again to write the Broadmoor Legacy series. I have no doubt it will be as wonderful as their earlier collaborations. A Daughter's Inheritance is book one of this new series.

The premise isn't all that original. A wealthy young woman receives a large inheritance. Some in the family think she doesn't deserve it and plot to take as much of it from her as possible. At the same time, she realizes she is in love with a member of the servant class... a social faux pas of grand magnitude at the turn of the 20th century.

What is original are the various side lines and stories that surround this family, as well as the in depth characters.

I confess it took me a bit to get "into" the story, but by chapter 4 I was hooked and I am looking forward to reading the future Broadmoor books. As always, Peterson and Miller left a good bit hanging at the end of book 1. Enough to keep the reader wanting more, but not so much as to totally frustrate.

For me, this book is an escape to another time, another place and another way of life! While I am sure things like this really did happen, it reads more like fantasy to this middle class down to earth Southern girl.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon

I am a huge Mitford fan! I never re-read novels, but the Mitford books are a series I have seriously thought of re-reading and probably will one day. In the meantime, Karon has started new series... sort of a Mitford spin-off.... The Father Tim Novels. Book 1 is Home to Holly Springs. I savored it this past week. Tried to read as slowly as possible to make it last. But alas, I ended up gobbling it down with vigor once I had the first few chapters read. Needless to say I loved it!

In Home to Holly Springs, we find Father Tim on a journey... a journey back to his hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi. I went to college 30 minutes south of Holly Springs at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). I am very familiar with Holly Springs. It is a lovely little town full of charm and character and Karon captures that beautifully in this book! She also captures the kind of characters one would find there and I fell in love with them all!

Tim Kavanaugh has been gone from his boyhood home for 38 years and then a note arrives ... Come Home... that is all it says. No signature... no explanation.. no return address.. just Come Home. And so he does with a bit of fear and trepidation.

Soon he finds himself back not only in place, but in time. Remembering the joys and sorrows of his childhood... getting answers to some of the questions he has had for years... and letting go of the ones that must go unanswered. His trip home brings healing... hope... and a surprise that is beyond his wildest imagination... one that forever changes his life.

If you are a Mitford fan, you will thoroughly enjoy Home to Holly Springs. If you have never read the Mitford series, you can jump in and read Home... but I highly recommend you locate the Mitford books and dive into them too! They are more than worth it!